Charming title: Face it, fatty, your genes are innocent
The Times columnist India Knight has, of course, co-authored a book (and related cookbook) about losing 5 stone a few years ago and has a website for weight-loss support which advertises the books. In an astounding example of unexamined attitudes, she also has this pull-quote from her other site, about parenting a child with special needs, as part of her Times bio:
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt through having a child with special needs, it is not to judge other people in a similar boat
But she’ll judge people in a similar boat if that boat is a fat boat.
I imagine many Shapelings have already sent a link to this to Kate Harding and Co by now. I’ll link to Shapely Prose’s response when it comes up.
I particularly wanted to address this argument:
Fat gene, my foot. Funny how it seems to manifest itself only in the prosperous, cake-guzzling carb-and-sugar-laden West
No, that’s not funny at all, that’s a result of our material prosperity in the West, just as you imply. It is a result of people who have higher metabolic demands being more likely to live in the affluent West than they are likely to survive in the poorer nations. Obviously, in cases of famine, people with a higher metabolic rate are going to starve faster than people with a lower rate, and die in larger numbers.
So, more people surviving than otherwise would is somehow a bad thing simply because some of those people who survive will stack on some fat and not conform to the beauty standard? Would it be better for them to be thin and dead rather than alive and fat?
Harsh, India. Very harsh.